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Mauritius Country Guide

  1. CountryFacts
  2. Health
  3. Media
  1. Intro
  2. Geography
  3. People
  4. Travel
  5. Embassies & Visas
  6. Finance
  7. Cities/Regions

Quick Facts

Region: Africa
Full Name: Republic of Mauritius
Capital City: Port Louis
Language Spoken: Creole 80.5%, Bhojpuri 12.1%, French 3.4%, English (official; spoken by less than 1% of the population), other 3.7%, unspecified 0.3% (2000 census)

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Geographic data

20 17 S, 57 33 E

Elevation Extremes

lowest point: Indian Ocean 0 m highest point: Mont Piton 828 m

Land boundaries

0 km

Natural hazards

cyclones (November to April); almost completely surrounded by reefs that may pose maritime hazards

Natural resources

arable land, fish

Land use

arable land: 49.02% permanent crops: 2.94% other: 48.04% (2005)

Environmental current issues

water pollution, degradation of coral reefs

Climate

Warm coastal climate (particularly January to April), with relatively little seasonal variation in temperatures, although they are generally slightly lower inland, with more rain on the plateau around Curepipe. Cyclones may occur between November and February. Sea breezes blow all year, especially on the east coast. Required clothing Tropical lightweights, with warmer wear for evenings and winter months (July to September). Rainwear advisable all year round. In the summer months, sun-care products and a hat are advisable.

Time difference

time difference: UTC+4

Population

1,240,827 (July 2006 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 23.9% (male 149,486/female 147,621) 15-64 years: 69.5% (male 430,288/female 431,753) 65 years and over: 6.6% (male 31,939/female 49,740) (2006 est.)

Median age

total: 30.8 years male: 30 years female: 31.8 years (2006 est.)

Population growth rate

0.82% (2006 est.)

Birth rate

15.43 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Death rate

6.86 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Net migration rate

-0.4 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.02 male(s)/female under 15 years: 1.01 male(s)/female 15-64 years: 1 male(s)/female 65 years and over: 0.64 male(s)/female total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2006 est.)

Life expectancy at birth

total population: 72.63 years male: 68.66 years female: 76.66 years (2006 est.)

Total fertility rate

1.95 children born/woman (2006 est.)

Business Practices

Safari suits are often worn in business circles. Appointments should be made. English is widely understood in the business community. Handshaking is the customary form of greeting. It is appropriate to give a gift as a small token of appreciation if invited for a meal. Office hours are 0900-1600 Monday to Friday; 0900-1200 Saturday

Crime

Petty crime is common and travelers are advised to common sense precautions such as keeping an eye on personal belongings and avoiding crowds.

Hotels

There are an abundance of hotels throughout the island and a number of smaller family holiday bungalows. From June to September and during the Christmas season, reservations should be made in advance.

Communications

Telephone IDD service is available in Mauritius. The country code is 230 and there are no area codes. The outgoing international code is 00. There are a limited number of public telephone booths, mainly at the airport and in major hotels. Most hotels have fax facilities. Telegram messages can be sent from the Mauritius Telecommunications Service offices at Cassis and Port Louis. There are also facilities at Overseas Telecoms Services Ltd, Rogers House, President John F Kennedy Street, Port Louis. Airmail to Western Europe usually takes five days, four to six weeks by sea. Post office hours: Generally 0900-1100 and 1200-1600 Monday to Friday; 0800-1100 Saturday.

Electricity

220 volts AC, 50Hz. UK-type three-pin plugs are commonly used in hotels.

Plug Types

C,G

Food And Dining

Standards of cuisine, whether French, Creole, Indian, Chinese or English, are generally very high but fruit, meat, vegetables and even fresh seafood are often in short supply and restaurants must usually depend on imports.
National specialties:
? Venison (in season).
? Camarons (freshwater prawns) in hot sauces.
? Octopus.
? Fresh pineapple with chilli sauce.
? Rice with curry.
? Dholl purri is a wheat pancake stuffed with dholl and dipped in tomato sauce.
? Samosas. National drinks:
? Rum.
? Beer.
? Alouda (almond drink).
? Fresh coconut milk. Things to know: Waiter service is normal in restaurants and bars.
Tipping:
10 per cent is usual in most hotels and restaurants. Tips are not customary for taxi drivers.
Nightlife
In Grand Baie and some towns there are discos and nightclubs with music and dancing. Rivi?re Noire is a Creole fishermen's district where sega dancing is especially lively on Saturday nights. Sega troupes give performances at most hotels. Gamblers are lavishly catered for; casinos in the island's hotels are amongst the island's attractions.

Entry departure requirements

Visa immigration information

Passports

Passport valid for at least six months from date of entry required by all. Passports issued by the Government of Taiwan, homelands of Botsphutatswana, Ciskei, Transkei, Venda or any other homeland and the Turkish Republic of Cyprus are not recognized. The holders of such documents can apply for an entry permit to the Passport and Immigration Officer (see address below).

Note

All visitors must hold valid tickets and documents for their onward or return journey and adequate funds for their intended length of stay.

Visas

Required by all except the following:
(a) nationals of countries referred to in the chart above for stays up to three months;
(b) nationals of Commonwealth countries, except nationals of India (see below) and nationals of Bangladesh, Cameroon, Fiji, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Swaziland, who do require a visa for stays of up to three months;
(c) nationals of Bahrain, Hong Kong (SAR), Israel, Kuwait, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, Oman, Qatar, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Vatican City and Zimbabwe for stays of up to three months;
(d) nationals of China (PR), India, Jordan and Lebanon for tourist stays of up to 15 days;
(e) transit passengers continuing their journey to a third country within 24 hours provided holding valid onward or return documentation and not leaving the airport.

Types of visa and cost

Tourist, Business and Social, each available as single- or multiple-entry. Visas are issued free of charge.

Validity

Tourist/Business visas: Up to three months. Applications for extensions should be made to the relevant authority (see below).

Application to

Consulate (or Consular section at Embassy or High Commission); see Passport/Visa Information.

Note

(a) Nationals of Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Paraguay can obtain a visa on arrival for stays of up to three months. (b) Nationals of Korea (Rep) can obtain a visa on arrival for stays of up to 16 days. (c) Nationals of Albania, Bulgaria, CIS, Comoro Islands, Fiji, Madagascar and Romania can obtain a visa on arrival for stays of up to two weeks. Extensions are possible. These visas can be issued from Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport or the Passport and Immigration Office in Port Louis (see Passport/Visa Information). (d) Nationals of Afghanistan, Algeria, Congo (Dem Rep), Iraq, Iran, Liberia, Libya, Nigeria, Sudan and Yemen should obtain a visa before traveling to Mauritius, even if they are on transit.

Application requirements

(a) Valid passport. (b) Completed application form. (c) Two passport-size photos. (d) Photocopy of passport page with date of birth. (e) Proof of sufficient funds (at least US$50 per day or equivalent, or at least US$100 per day for some other nationals). (f) Proof of accommodation such as hotel booking or letter of invitation. (g) Self-addressed stamped envelope. (h) Appropriate documents for the next destination, including return or onward tickets.

Working days required

Varies according to nationality of applicant. Most can be issued within seven days but can take up to one month.

Temporary residence

Residence permits are issued by the Passport and Immigration Officer, Sterling House, Lislet Geoffrey Street, Port Louis (tel: 210 9312-9). Work permits are necessary for those taking up employment.

HIV entry requirements

Test is performed on arrival when foreigners are applying for work or residency permit

Departure tax

None

Embassies

Mauritius High Commission in the UK

32-33 Elvaston Place, London SW7 5NW, UK
Tel: (020) 7581 0294-8.
Website: http://www1.govmu.org/portal/sites/mfamission/london/index.htm
E-mail: [email protected]
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 0930-1200 (consular section); 0930-1700 (general enquiries).
Also deals with tourism enquiries.

Embassy of Mauritius in the USA

4301 Connecticut Avenue, Suite 441, NW, Washington, DC 20008, USA
Tel: (202) 244 1491/2.
Website: http://www1.govmu.org/portal/sites/mfamission/washington/index.htm
Also deals with enquiries from Canada.
Most visits to Mauritius are trouble-free but you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate international terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners.
Drug trafficking carries severe penalties.
This advice is based on information provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK. It is correct at time of publishing. As the situation can change rapidly, visitors are advised to contact the following organizations for the latest travel advice:

British Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Website: www.fco.gov.uk

US Department of State

Website: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel.html

Currency

Mauritian Rupee (MUR) = 100 cents. Notes are in denominations of MUR2000, 1000, 500, 200, 100, 50 and 25. Coins are in denominations of MUR10, 5 and 1, and 50, 20, 10, and 5 cents.

Currency restrictions

There are no limits on the import or export of local or foreign currency.

Banking hours

Mon-Thurs 0915-1515, Fri 0915-1530, Sat 0915-1115 (except for Bank of Mauritius). Some banks may open Mon-Fri 0900-1700. Banks are also open to coincide with the arrival and departure of international flights at the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Airport.

Currency exchange

Available in banks and at bureaux de change. A better rate of exchange can be obtained on traveller's cheques than on cash.

Credit cards

American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa are accepted by most banks, hotels, restaurants and tourist shops. Check with your credit, or debit, card company for details of merchant acceptability and other services which may be available. ATMs are available.

Travellers cheques

May be exchanged at banks, hotels and authorized dealers.

City/RegionCity/Area codeFollowed by
Agalega814+ 4 digits
Albion558+ 4 digits
Baie Du Cap621+ 4 digits
Bambous552+ 4 digits
Beau Bassin574+ 4 digits
Bel Air519+ 4 digits
Bel Ombre623+ 4 digits
Belle Mare515+ 4 digits
Bris?e Verdi?re518+ 4 digits
Camp De Masque516+ 4 digits
Candos528+ 4 digits
Cap Malheureux562+ 4 digits
Chemin Grenier622+ 4 digits
Coromandel533+ 4 digits
Dagoti?re581+ 4 digits
Dubreuil665+ 4 digits
Flacq539+ 4 digits
Flic En Flac553+ 4 digits
Flic-En-Flac403+ 4 digits
Floreal698+ 4 digits
Forest Side676+ 4 digits
Glen Park684+ 4 digits
Goodlands582+ 4 digits
Government Centre201+ 4 digits
Grand Bay563+ 4 digits
Grand Bois617+ 4 digits
Grand Gaube568+ 4 digits
La Ferme832+ 4 digits
La Gaulette551+ 4 digits
La Prairie620+ 4 digits
Le Morne450+ 4 digits
L'Escalier636+ 4 digits
Long Mountain545+ 4 digits
Mahebourg631+ 4 digits
Mapou556+ 4 digits
Moka534+ 4 digits
Montagne Blanche537+ 4 digits
Nouvelle France677+ 4 digits
Olivia414+ 4 digits
Pailles506+ 4 digits
Pamplemousses543+ 4 digits
Piton554+ 4 digits
Plaine Verte542+ 4 digits
Plaisance637+ 4 digits
Pointe Aux Sables535+ 4 digits
Port Louis512+ 4 digits
Poste Lafayette591+ 4 digits
Quartier Militaire555+ 4 digits
Quatre Soeurs517+ 4 digits
Riche-En-Eau633+ 4 digits
Ripailles501+ 4 digits
Riviere Coco831+ 4 digits
Rivi?re Des Anguilles626+ 4 digits
Rivi?re Du Rempart502+ 4 digits
Roches Noires411+ 4 digits
Rose Belle627+ 4 digits
Rose Hill566+ 4 digits
Seizi?me Mile664+ 4 digits
Signal Mountain217+ 4 digits
Souillac625+ 4 digits
Tamarin583+ 4 digits
Terre Rouge549+ 4 digits
Tombeau Bay547+ 4 digits
Triolet561+ 4 digits
Trou Aux Biches505+ 4 digits
Trou D'Eau Douce580+ 4 digits
Vieux Grand Port634+ 4 digits
  1. Health Information
  2. Recent Disease Outbreak
  3. Hospital Database

Dental care

Reasonable dental care can be found in the capital - Port Louis

Medication Availability

Some international medication is available from the larger pharmacies and hospitals in the larger towns and cities.

Blood supplies

Blood supplies are considered safe and screened to international standards

Medical facilities

Medical facilities are available, but more limited than in the West. Emergency assistance is limited. While public hospitals and clinics provide free care, many visitors may choose to be treated by private doctors and hospitals

General caution

Recent medical and dental exams should ensure that the traveler is in good health. Carry appropriate health and accident insurance documents and copies of any important medical records. Bring an adequate supply of all prescription and other medications as well as any necessary personal hygiene items, including a spare pair of eyeglasses or contact lenses if necessary. Drink only bottled beverages (including water) or beverages made with boiled water. Do not use ice cubes or eat raw seafood, rare meat or dairy products. Eat well-cooked foods while they are still hot and fruits that can be peeled without contamination. Avoid roadside stands and street vendors. Swim only in well-maintained, chlorinated pools or ocean water known to be free from pollution; avoid freshwater lakes, streams and rivers. Wear clothing which reduces exposed skin and apply repellents containing DEET to remaining areas. Sleep in well-screened accommodations. Carry anti-diarrheal medication. Reduce problems related to sun exposure by using sunglasses, wide-brimmed hats, sunscreen lotions and lip protection.

Specific concerns

AIDS occurs. Blood supply may not be adequately screened and/or single-use, disposable needles and syringes may be unavailable. When possible, travelers should defer medical treatment until reaching a facility where safety can be assured. High constant humidity may affect persons with arthritic conditions. Sinusitis and hay fever sufferers are affected during July and August when the sugarcane flowers and awaits cutting.

Immunization

Hepatitis A: Consider active immunization with hepatitis A vaccine or passive immunization with immune globulin (IG) for all susceptible travelers. Especially consider choosing active immunization for persons planning to reside for a long period or for persons who take frequent short-term trips to risk areas. The importance of protection against hepatitis A increases as length of stay increases. It is particularly important for persons who will be living in or visiting rural areas, eating or drinking in settings of poor or uncertain sanitation, or who will have close contact with local persons (especially young children) in settings with poor sanitary conditions. Hepatitis B: Vaccination is advised for health care workers, persons anticipating direct contact with blood from or sexual contact with inhabitants, and persons planning extended stays of 6 months or greater (especially those who anticipate using local health care facilities, staying in rural areas, or having intimate contact with the local population). Polio: A one-time booster dose is recommended for travelers who have previously completed a standard course of polio immunization. Refer to CDC guidelines for vaccinating unimmunized or incompletely immunized persons. Pregnancy is a relative contraindication to vaccination; however, if protection is needed, either IPV or OPV may be used, depending on preference and time available. Typhoid: Vaccination should be considered for persons staying longer than 3 weeks, adventurous eaters, and those who will venture off the usual tourist routes into small cities, villages and rural areas. Importance of vaccination increases as access to reasonable medical care becomes limited. Contraindications depend on vaccine type. Note: All routine vaccines (such as DTP or Td, Hib, MMR, polio, varicella, influenza and pneumococcal) should be kept up-to-date as a matter of good health practice unrelated to travel.

Disease risk summary

Insect-borne diseases: are major causes of illness. Many diseases are endemic, with only scattered cases being reported and, from time to time, more extensive outbreaks. Dengue fever - occurs Filariasis - prevalent Leishmaniasis - occurs (both cutaneous and visceral types may be found, particularly in the drier areas) Relapsing fever - occurs Typhus - occurs (louse-, flea-, and tick-borne types occur) Food-borne and water-borne illness: highly endemic. The dysenteries and diarrheal diseases, giardiasis, the typhoid fevers and viral hepatitis are widespread. Echinococcosis (hydatid disease) is widespread in animal-breeding areas. Dracunculiasis - occurs Helminthic (parasitic worm) infections - prevalent Schistosomiasis - common Other hazards: High levels of immunization coverage have reduced the incidence of diseases such as measles and diphtheria. Polio is still considered a possible risk, although no cases have been reported in recent years. Influenza risk extends throughout the year. Rabies - reportedly rabies-free (although this status is considered provisional) Trachoma - prevalent

Entry requirements

AIDS: According to the Department of State, testing is required for foreigners planning to work or seek permanent residence. Foreign test results are accepted under certain conditions. Contact Mauritius' embassy for details. Yellow fever: A yellow fever vaccination certificate is required from travelers over 1 year of age coming from infected areas. A certificate is also required from travelers arriving from countries in the endemic zones.

Recent disease outbreaks

No recent disease outbreaks

NameAddress
City ClinicSir Edgar Laurent Street Port Louis
Clinique Darne Medical & Surgical Centre LtdRue Georges Guibert Floreal
Clinique de LoretteHiggingson Street Curepipe
Clinique du NordRoyal Road Tombeau bay Port Louis
Doctor R. A. G. Jeetoo HospitalVolcy Street Port Louis
Jawaharlal Nehru HospitalRose Belle
Mahebourg HospitalMahebourg
Medisave Medical Centre29 Saint Jean Road Quatre Bornes
Medpoint ClinicSayed Hossed Road - Solferino - Vacoas - Phoenix Port Louis
Moka Eye HospitalMoka
Nouvelle Clinique du Bon PasteurThorny Pitot Street Rose Hill
Princess Margaret Orthopaedic Hospital(Victoria Hospital) Candos
Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam NationalPamplemousses

Media

Press: Of the 10 daily newspapers, two are published in Chinese and the remainder in French and English. L'Express (website: www.lexpress.mu), Le Mauricien (website: www.lemauricien.com) and Le Matinal (website: www.lematinal.com) have the highest circulation.
TV: MBC is state-run and operates three channels.
Radio: MBC is a state-run network; stations include Radio Maurice 1 and 2, Kool FM, Taal FM and One World FM. Other stations include Top FM, Radio One and Radio Plus.

 

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